Sahara Reporters Latest News Saturday 16th March 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Saturday 16th March 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 16/03/19

Read also Leadership Newspapers News Today Saturday 16th March 2019

Arakunrin Akeredolu, ‘Kunle Adebayo And The Dying Ondo Radiovision Stations By Arakunrin Ajos

For days now, I have kept myself updated with the countless allegations against the Interim Chairman of OSRC and OrangeFM, Mr ‘Kunle Adebayo, from concerned Ondo state people who are really desirous of a true and working radiovision outfit. I have also read from different groups, domiciled in Ondo State too, who have raised their voices against the person and character of the Chairman and his poor, autocratic management of the stations.
 I waited for his response. I wanted to confirm if those allegations are baseless so the ‘project’ could easily be abandoned by the accusers while the public wave it off as one of those media trial against a very upright, decent, working and responsible official of the Ondo State government. 
I was disappointed!
His defence, which came out as some sort of accusation, was watery, undefendable, political and had, written all over it, the writings of one who is condescending, arrogant, power drunk and confident he has the ears and assurances of the real power brokers inside the Alagbaka Government House. He accused the ‘perpetrators’ of being willful tools in the hands of the PDP, the major opposition party in Ondo. He also fingered many unnamed current and ex staff of OSRC and OrangeFM as the brains behind the social media attacks on his person. He asked why he won’t deal with some staff members who got undue advantage(s) from the PDP before the coming of Arakunrin Akeredolu.
I do not get involved in character assassination or laundering of images of both private and public officials, yet some of the things few of us know about Mr ‘Kunle Adebayo must be brought to the public for His Excellency, Arakunrin Akeredolu, to wade in and save the stations and also his political career hanging in the loose if he continues to associate with and retain him as the boss of our own OSRC and OrangeFM.
May I ask why Mr. Governor, listening to the ‘professional’ advice from his GM, shut down our old and lovely 96.5fm? This is a station inside the massive compound of OSRC, using the same generator and staff. 96.5fm would compete with any Nigerian radio station with just little upgrade to the facilities, rebranding and repackaging, renovating the buildings and bringing on more competent hands and it’d be on top the ladder. Why shut down the station when it can make more money into the coffers of the state government?
It’s even on record that OrangeFM is now the only station making money for the government while OSRC TV, with all monies pumped into it, has remained like a horse galloping away in a book, useless and making no financial return into the government purse. It’s also confirmed that the ‘rebranded’ OSRC TV we watch at home is the work of excellent software guys showing what’s not for us. I’m a frequent visitor to OSRC and I know better.
There’s a serious allegation that the Interim Chairman of OSRC and OrangeFM, Mr ‘Kunle Adebayo, was dismissed from Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo on crimes of rape. He was alleged to have committed the crime, relieved of his job and had to change his name from ‘Kunle Ogunwale to ‘Kunle Adebayo. Someone of such questionable and flawed character shouldn’t handle the media houses of the good people of Ondo State. Or what do we tell our children when we grow up? That a serial rapist once headed OSRC?
And while hundreds of competent, qualified, professional hands of Ondo State are ready to move the stations forward, ‘Kunle Adebayo, from Osun State(or the State of Osun like the former governor wanted) heads our OSRC. It’s unacceptable, unwise and unreasonable. Ondo state is blessed with media gurus that could turn the fates of OSRC around in no time. Would Arakunrin Akeredolu overlook this? Would he retrieve our media houses from him and hand it back to the professionals who wouldn’t toy with the standard of the stations? Why would Arakunrin Akeredolu allow an outside destroy our heritage?
About the standards, I have stopped listening to most of the programs shoved down our throats by OrangeFM. That station is dying. The programs are losing followers. The station’s rating is getting lower. The equipment are becoming outdated. The other day, I was on a program for an hour and sweated all through. The AC wasn’t working and I had to make do with a paper to fan. In the 21st century? A radio station with the studio heating up?
There’s also an allegation that Mr Kunle Adebayo collects monies from OSRC and OrangeFM for workshops and seminars only to sit at home and wine and dine away with our money. I saw a mighty mansion he’s allegedly building at the Ijapo Extension of Akure. This edifice could only be erected by one who wasn’t a landlord few months ago but just had access to some slush funds. He has also been accused of suffocating and stifling staff members with opposing views and opinions to his autocracy and highhandedness.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was the allegation I read this evening against him by a group accusing him of using OrangeFM for some political programmes without remitting the millions of naira to the coffers of the station. I remember Arakunrin Akeredolu made a pronouncement that state-owned media houses must not be used for free by candidates and aspirants from his own party. This prompted this long epistle and I’m committed to seeing it to the end.
Arakunrin Akeredolu, for his own good, must do the needful by revamping our dying OSRC and set us back on the right path by:
Setting up a Panel of Enquiries to investigate these weighty allegations;
Relieving Mr. ‘Kunle Adebayo of his duties pending the reports from the panel;
Bringing back our beloved and upgraded 96.5fm;
Separating these three stations by appointing substantive General Managers for each of them. OSRC TV, OSRC 96.5FM and Orange 94.5FM;
Reviewing all the anti-worker policies that have dampened the morale of the staff.
Arakunrin Akeredolu must, in earnest, save our dying heritage as we would leave no stone unturned to retrieve the lovely stations from the bad manager of men and our media houses.

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Buhari Perhaps Even Poorer Now Than In 2015, Says Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says President Muhammadu Buhari is “perhaps” poorer now than when he was elected in 2015.
Osinbajo stated this during a dinner in honour of volunteer supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2019 general election, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday night.
He also used the occasion to canvass for votes for the APC in the supplementary elections scheduled for March 23, 2019.
He said: “When I looked at his assets declaration form; I was checking it in 2015, I said to him, ‘Mr President, I am so much richer than you, it is an embarrassment.’
“He said, ‘I am only a soldier, you are a big lawyer so you should have more money than me.’ I can tell you that he is perhaps, even poorer than he was in 2015 when I saw his declaration of assets form.”
Speaking on the elections, he added: “We are still not done with the elections. On the 23rd of March, we still have some outstanding states and as you know we are re-running in about six states. And all of the efforts we need to put into those six states, we still need to do. We can’t afford to slack off and say the job is done; we still have some things to do.”
He appreciated the support of Nigerians during his campaign before the elections.
“I think that one of the main characteristics of the Nigerian is how so supportive and trusting many of our people are and they don’t ask us for too much. They never really ask for anything that is impossible to do. And that’s why, for many of us that went around this country, we realized the tremendous amount of work that there is to do and our capacity to do so much work.
“What our people need, as we discovered, isn’t that much. As a matter of fact, I do not know any nation where the people are so generous no matter how poor they are. It just struck me that what we really need to do a lot more is to connect with the people. All the people need is opportunity for us to interact with them. We should have a way by which everybody is involved one way or the other.
“One of the complaints that people made about our government is that we were not communicating enough and that people did not know what had done.”
He restated the commitment of the APC administration to doing more on communicating better with the people.
In his remarks, Salamatu Eluma, the APC Woman Leader, commended the volunteers for their support.

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Over 2,500 Nigerians Ask Buhari To Increase Budgetary Allocation To Education

Nigerians have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prioritise funding for the girl child.
A statement issued on Friday  by representatives of four human rights groups noted that encouraging the education of girls will bring about positive change in the country.
To ensure improvement in the education sector for the girl child, the groups published the Girls’ Education Charter, which has got more than 2,500 endorsements so far.
A statement to that effect was signed by Abubakar Askira, Malala Fund Gulmakai Network Champion and Program Manager, Hallmark Leadership Initiative, Borno; Kiki James, Malala Fund Gulmakai Network Champion and CEO, ACE Charity, Abuja; Habiba Mohammed, Malala Fund Gulmakai Network Champion and Team Leader, Centre for Girls Education, Zaria; and Rotimi Olawale, Malala Fund Gulmakai Network Champion and Executive Director, Youth Hub Africa, Abuja.
The statement read: “Nigeria has more out-of-school girls than any other country in Africa — and the numbers are rising. To encourage the government to prioritise girls’ education, a coalition of nonprofits in the education sector worked with girls themselves to make specific demands for improvement and published them in the Girls’ Education Charter. This charter now has over 2,500 endorsements.
“The Girls’ Education Charter calls for the Nigerian government to increase its education budget, amend the Universal Basic Education and commit to halving the number of out-of-school children by 2030.
“To ensure that the voices of active citizens and girls across the country who signed the charter are heard, education advocates will continue to use the charter to engage policymakers and political leaders in the new political dispensation as education policy and budgeting takes shape.”
According to the groups, the Girls’ Education Charter makes the following demands on the government:
1. Commit to increase the education allocation to least 20% of the national budget and 6% of GDP — ensuring the planning, budgeting, and the Medium Term Sector Strategies (MTSS) processes are transparent and open to civil society organisations.
2. Amend the Universal Basic Education Act (2004) to extend its coverage from junior to senior secondary education thereby guaranteeing compulsory, free, safe and quality education with increased UBE Fund increment from 2% CRF to 5%. The UBE ACT amendment should also removed barriers and hidden costs while providing schools with adequate running costs so as to eliminate the need for hidden fees and levies imposed by school administrators.
3. In partnership with state governments, expand the National Homegrown School Feeding Program to cover all public schools in all states of Nigeria.
4. Commit to working with state and local governments to ensure the domestication and enforcement of the Child Rights Act.
5. Commit to halve the number of out-of-school children by 2030. Launch a targeted strategy for girls’ inclusion focused on increasing enrolment and retention of girls, improving the quality of secondary education for girls and addressing missing facilities and security. Indicators should be developed in order to measure progress.
6. Provide a comprehensive quality girls’ education programme in safe spaces that is responsive to the needs of young girls and adolescents.
7. Improve and scale up on a National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme in schools that includes separate toilets for boys and girls as well as take cognizance of girls’ sanitary needs including the provision of sanitary pads where applicable.
8. Invest in female leadership in education by appointing tested female professionals as education minister, commissioners, education secretaries, chairmen and members of governing council and boards and other leadership positions in education.
9. Scale up Learning Resource Centres in public schools stock with gender-sensitive books and materials in line with the national curriculum.
10. Reintroduce school inspectors properly trained on all aspects of enforcement of minimum standards; properly trained on effective and efficient monitoring of gender equitable outcomes and mechanisms, and supportive of teachers in enhancing learning outcomes.
11. Improve on teacher remuneration, training and appreciation to include prompt payment of teacher salaries, better welfare packages as well as implementing programs to appreciate outstanding teachers and school administrators
“On behalf of Civil Society Organisations, education stakeholders and concerned citizens we are demanding the attention and commitment of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria and policymakers to the Girls’ Education Charter,” the statement added.

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EFCC Witness Reveals How Okupe Ran A Government Office Without Vouchers

Hassan Saidu, prosecution witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has told the Federal High Court in Abuja, how Doyin Okupe, a former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to former President Goodluck Jonathan, engaged in financial transactions without vouchers.
Saidu said this before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Friday, during the trial of N702million fraud allegations against Okupe.
Okupe is standing trial along with Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd on a 59-count charge of money laundering and criminal diversion of funds.
Saidu, who is head of EFCC’s Extractive Industries and Fraud Section, told the court that “though there were transfers to persons and companies, we could not tally it to the expenditure that Okupe incurred in the running of the office, because vouchers which were supposed to be produced for running of a government office were never produced”.
He explained that the EFCC received a petition, which among other things, revealed that various sums of money running into millions of Naira were transferred to Okupe, his company and one other company, Abrahams Telecoms, by the former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
According to him, the intelligence was referred to the Special Task Force.
“The Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA was quizzed in respect of the payments made to Okupe and the two companies through a voucher tagged ‘Special Services.
“Sometime in June 2016, we invited the defendant to the EFCC, where he was interrogated in respect of the payment he received from ONSA on ‘Special Services’ and payments made in the name of the two other companies”.
According to Saidu, during interrogation, Okupe submitted the name of Value Trust, which received N50million on August 3, 2012, while the company, Abraham Telecoms, received N35million, on October 3, 2014.
“Okupe received cash payment of N50million through a voucher No 1526, which he said was for the take-off of his office (Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs),” Saidu said, adding that Okupe claimed he first received the sum of N6million, through a voucher tagged, ‘Special Services’.
He continued: “Okupe said he received various sums of money in N10million, which was also tagged ‘Special Services’, which he said was later reduced to N5million, from January 2015, to May 2015”.
According to the EFCC witness, Okupe told investigators during the interrogation that there was a request that was approved by Jonathan to the National Security Adviser, which necessitated such payment, but when EFCC requested for the approval, Okupe told them he could not lay his hands on it.
Saidu told the court that when the investigative team requested for vouchers of expenditures on payment of staff, uptake of the office and payment of a programme on NTA programme, ‘The Insight’, Okupe could not provide any payment slip of the staff and could not give vouchers for the expenditure in the office.
“The only receipt he was able to provide was N120,000, payment made to Infinity Security Services,” he said.
He further disclosed that when the EFCC invited the then DFA, Shuaibu, to provide more information on the payments made to Okupe and the two companies for ‘Special Services’ rendered, Shuaibu told investigators that he was still looking for it but would forward it to the EFCC, when found.
Investigations, according to Saidu, revealed that Okupe was the Director of Value Trust Investment Limited, and he was not listed among the directors of Abraham Telecoms, but “he is a sole signatory to the account”.
“The account balance of Value Trust before the N50million was credited into the account of the company was not up to N2,000 (Two Thousand Naira) only. The account balance of N36,000 (Thirty-six Thousand Naira) only was found in Abraham Telecoms before N35million was credited into the account. The disbursement of funds showed that there was no trace to show, if payment was made to staff,” he said.
Saidu also told the court that NTA personnel were quizzed by the EFCC to shed more light on the NTA programme, ‘The Insight’.
“We needed to know how the programme was run and it was discovered that the programme was ‘Corporate Social Responsibility of NTA’ and so, was done pro bono, and no payment was made to any staff and also no payment was made to NTA for any transaction from any of the two companies, though there was transfers to persons and companies,” he added.
Justice Ojukwu has adjourned the case till April 1, 2019, for cross examination of the witness, and continuation of hearing.

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CONFIRMED: Patience Jonathan To Forfeit N2.4bn To Nigerian Govt As Supreme Court Throws Out Appeal

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by Patience Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, seeking to upturn the interim forfeiture order by a Federal High Court in Lagos placed on the sum of N2.4billion linked to her.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had traced the said sum to her and alleged that it was proceeds of illegal activities.
According to the EFCC, the N2.4billion was surreptitiously kept in the bank account of La Wari Furniture and Baths Limited, domiciled with Ecobank Plc.
Justice Mojisola Olaterogun had in 2017 ordered the interim forfeiture of the money, and held that anyone interested in it should appear before the court to show cause why it should not be finally forfeited to the Nigerian government.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Mrs. Jonathan had approached the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, seeking to upturn the ruling of the lower court.
However, ruling on the appeal on January 12, 2018, the appellate court, in a lead judgement read by Justice Mojeed Owoade, rather upheld the interim forfeiture order.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the appellate court, Patience, through her counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), again filed an appeal challenging the ruling before the Supreme Court.
However, the five-man panel of Supreme Court justices, in a unanimous ruling delivered on Friday, upheld the interim forfeiture order of the N2.4billion.
A five-man panel of Supreme Court justices had on Friday, March 8, 2019 in a unanimous judgement, also dismissed Patience’s appeal against the interim forfeiture order of a Federal High Court, Lagos, of another $8.4million traced to her by the EFCC and believed to be proceeds of illegal activities.

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BREAKING: After Lagos, Building Collapses In Ibadan

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Barely 72 hours after a three-storeyed building collapsed in Ita Faji area, Lagos Island, another building has collapsed in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The incident occurred in Bode area, after Molete Bridge, of Ibadan on Friday.
At the time of this report, the casualty toll was not clear but a crowd was gathered at the scene of the building collapse.
SaharaReporters understands that rescue efforts are currently minor, leaving the lives of many people at risk.
Details later…

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Army Sets Up Committee To Investigate Soldiers’ Conduct During 2019 Elections

The Nigerian Army has set up a committee to investigate the allegations of misconduct levelled against its officers in the just concluded general election.
A statement issued by Colonel Sagir Musa, acting Director, Army Public Relations on Friday, noted that nine officers make up the committee, which is headed by Major General T.A. Gagariga.
The committee has a deadline of March 31, 2019 to submit its report.
The statement read: “As a way of ensuring that NA troops deployed for election security duties during the 2019 general election conducted themselves within laid down Rules of Engagement and the Code of Conduct, the NA has set up a nine-member investigative committee, headed by Major General T.A. Gagariga with Brigadier General J.M. Ali, Brigadier General G.O. Adeshina, Brigadier General M.A. Obari, Colonel A.T. Bitiyong, Colonel A. Tanko and Colonel W.A. Bakare, as members and Lieutenant Colonel P.A.J. Ebuk as Secretary, to investigate all allegations of misconduct against the NA during the just concluded general elections. The committee is to submit its report not later than 31st of March, 2019.
“The committee, which has already commenced action, was inaugurated by the Chief of Administration (Army), Major General K.A.Y. Isiyaku on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, and admonished to carry out their duties objectively, fairly and transparently in line with its Terms of Reference.
“The committee’s Terms of Reference centred on thoroughly investigating the activities, actions and/or inactions of NA Personnel in all the states that alleged one infraction/wrong doing or the other. The Committee is also to collate and thoroughly analyze all reports to determine the veracity of the allegations including the alleged assassination attempt on Rivers State Governor and the circumstances that led to the shooting to death of Lt. Kurmi, as well as that leading to serious injuries to an officer and some soldiers in the state.
“The Committee is further mandated to visit all states where issues have been raised about the conduct of NA during and after the elections and also interact with Civil Society Organizations, sister security agencies and state governors with claims against the Army.
“It would be recalled that the COAS, Lt. Gen. T.Y. Buratai has on many fora, consistently (both in words and actions), soundly indicated that, under his watch, NA personnel must remain apolitical, respect human rights and abide by the rule of law in all its official engagements within or outside Nigeria and in or out of conflict situations. NA troops were deployed for the elections under Operation SAFE CONDUCT that was set up to provide support to the NP and other security agencies to ensure hitch free and successful elections in the country.
“The Chairman of the committee, Major General T.A. Gagariga has assured the COAS and all Nigerians of the committee’s commitment, resolve and determination to objectively and professionally address the major issues as contained in the Committee’s Terms of Reference.”

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Frank Donga, Banky W, Ebuka Cheer On As Waje, Omawumi Make Movie Production Debuts

Nigerian singers Aituaje Iruobe, popularly known as Waje, and Omawumi Megbele, popularly known as Omawumi, have joined forces to create a movie to address issues women face in today’s world.
The movie, which is titled ‘She is’, was premiered on Sunday, March 10, 2019, at Filmhouse in Lekki, Lagos.
Making their debuts as producers, Omawumi and Waje were supported by their colleagues such as Bovi, Ebuka, Seyi Law, Frank Donga, Banky W, Adunni Ade at the premiere.
‘She is’ tells a story of an average Nigerian woman, Frances, played by Somkele Iyamah Idhalama, who, upon achieving success in her chosen career, finds it hard to settle down in marriage. 
The movie features seasoned actors such as Frank Donga, Chiwetalu Agu, Linda Ejiofor, Somkele Iyamah Idhalama, Desmond Elliot and Segun Arinze.
Also, Waje and Omawunmi brought their musical skill to use as they wrote and performed the soundtrack of the movie. 

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Eight Days After, Abductors Free 80-Year-Old Mother-In-Law Of Katsina Governor Masari

Eight days after her kidnapping, 80-year-old Hajiya Maistiyari, mother of Binta, the wife of Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari, has been released by her abductors on Thursday. 
Hajiya Maistiyari was kidnapped last Friday morning at her residence, No 13, Dandume Crescent, Sabon Gari area of Katsina State.
Spokesman for the command, SP Gambo Isah who confirmed her release, said: “I am very happy to inform you that, the old woman has been released by her abductors yesterday 14/03/2019 by 16:00hrs. She is hale and hearty. She has already reunited with her family after necessary medical checkups.”
It is however not clear if a ransom was played to secure her release.

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UNILAG Students Being Supplied With Water So Contaminated It ‘Looks Like Orange Juice’

Students of Makama Hall of the University of Lagos, Yaba, have decried the contaminated water being delivered to their halls for daily use.
According to the students, the water is not hygienic enough as usage of it could lead to stomach illnesses, vomiting, diarrhea and skin rashes.
It was gathered that another hall in UNILAG, Honours Hall (a female-only hall) also suffered the same fate, as water supplied to the hall is also polluted.
However, judging by the look of things, the water supplied to Honours Hall is not as bad as Makama Hall’s.

Students resident in Makama Hall have berated the hall management for not making any move to fix the water problem in the hall, stating that the water in the hall is “the new source of orange juice in Nigeria”.
One of the students, who spoke to SaharaReporters, faulted the management of the institution for failure to provide basic amenities for students, despite being ranked one of the top universities in Nigeria.
“Despite claim to being the nation’s pride, it’s sad that University of Lagos can still suffer from common amenities like water, as the university hall of residence for students is now the new source of orange juice. It’s as bad as drinking gutter water, because students are expected to cook, bath and sometimes drink this water,” she said.
Students who had tried to manage to use the water said they had developed skin rashes and were feeling uncomfortable.

A student said: “I boiled the water and used it cook, but the aftermath was not good. I have had food poisoning from using the water. I don’t even bother to cook with the water. I will rather buy sachet water and be happy.”
“The water has given me eczema and rash. All I do now is to buy sachet water to cook and bathe,” another student said.
The students demanded immediate action from the management of the school for the supply of potable water. They also appealed to the school to fix every channel the water passes through to get to all hostels and halls.
“We want the school authority to promptly look into this matter and provide a quick and lasting solution to this problem as it is a matter that’s affecting students,” a student added.

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